Case studies

5

Background:

Several years ago Philip Squire, Consalia's CEO, was in conversation with Starbucks. The story emerged of how Starbucks had convinced Compaq, a supplier, to invest $60m in Starbucks for free. At the time, wireless Internet was relatively new and PDA type devices had recently been released. Starbucks saw the opportunity to increase their revenue by encouraging people to come in to check their email and to do some work over a cup of coffee. However, the cost of installing the technology was very high, so they asked IT companies to propose solutions, in exchange for the opportunity to get their brand and equipment in front of thousands of Starbucks customers. Compaq won the deal. What if an IT company had thought of this first and approached Starbucks with the idea? Starbucks would have been delighted - and the IT company would have gained the opportunity to greatly increase their share of wallet in Starbucks.

Objective:

How do we get sales people to think proactively like this and to truly meet customer needs?

Approach:

Phil decided to conduct a research project to answer this question. After interviewing over 50 high level customers globally on the qualities they did, and did not want from a sales person, the majority of interviewees said only 10% met their expectations. By analyzing all the comments made in the interviews, Consalia established a set of four Positive/Outstanding Mindsets that customers want from a sales person and four Negative/Limiting Mindsets that they don't want (but see more often than not). The attitudes and behaviors for each Mindset were specified so they could be used as a guide for sales people and sales coaches.

Outcome:

Historically, most sales courses, sales competencies, and recruitment criteria are based on the characteristics of sales people who are seen to be successful. This, in effect, perpetuates the customer dissatisfaction with sales people. Consalia's training and development programs are all based around what customers want from a sales person, i.e. the Four Positive Mindsets. This approach has been met with much success in a variety of organizations, the ultimate success being the Winning Value Proposition (WVP) workshop run for HP using live deals. The workshops resulted in a conversion rate of 70%, compared with 27% for deals not using the workshop.